The importance of team dynamics and why you should connect your team seems pretty obvious, right? The truth is, we all communicate, but we don’t always connect. When leaders and team members connect or don’t, or when there is or isn’t a connection between team members, collaboration and performance are impacted — either positively or negatively.
The leader’s role: Connect your team and create the structure for communication and collaboration
Leaders create the structure, a context, for communication and collaboration to happen within a team. The structure is what creates a safe space for things to happen, for the communication and collaboration essential to the creative work needed to solve problems. The foundation for this space is the emotional connection between all members of a team. Human beings are wired for connection. Our brains are constantly assessing our connections to others around us who we depend on in challenging situations. When the connection is broken, people do one of two things, push for connection or withdraw.
Through simple practices such as affirmations and reminding people they are important and are critical to the success of the team, leaders let their members know they are there for them. This can establish strong emotional connections to team members as well as between members of the team.
Use the super glue.
Sounds funny, but I’m referring to the super glue of emotional connection, which holds the bond in place. That bond is what allows for a safe space to communicate different, perhaps even conflicting ideas. Those are the ideas that often lead to collaboration and turn into real solutions. Connect your team and you will enable more creativity, a integrative and innovative thinking. Connect your team and you will create more options, more solutions. Your organization will thrive.
Leaders need to monitor the connections within their teams as these are critical to communication and collaboration. When collaboration happens, value is created. It starts with communicating the value each person brings to the team, then connecting that to the purpose of the collective task at hand and the team’s purpose. This positive communication forms an emotional bond within a team that leads to increased levels of cohesiveness and collaboration.
Follow a ritual.
When we work together, we rely on each other. This dependency creates a need to bond with other team members. One way to make sure the team is bonded is by using a simple team bonding ritual where the leader facilitates a quick conversation about the purpose on a consistent basis and exploring each person’s role in that purpose. – reinforcing their value – through daily interactions, in meetings, in communication with each other, emails, and conversations.
So, what can you change now? Start by being more authentic in your day to day interactions, you will elicit feelings of trust and respect from your coworkers, peers, and direct reports, which will enhance communication and improve collaboration.
Here are four ways to connect your team:
- Understand your impact on others.
How are others experiencing you in your day to day interactions? How does your verbal and nonverbal behavior influence your relationships in the workplace? Knowing the answers to these questions will help enhance communication and improve collaboration in your organization.
Chances are you are surrounded by people who have different perspectives other than your own. Listen to them and ask questions which will help strengthen your relationships, which will enhance communication and improve collaboration with your team members and other teams and departments within the organization.
- Spend time with your team.
Establish bonds with other members of your team by letting them get to know you better. Be authentic and open, sharing information about yourself. This will help you connect with others which enhance communication and improve collaboration.
- Enjoy your work.
Focus on the positive aspects of your job. What you love about it. Your positive emotions are contagious and others will receive a positive boost from you and your presence which enhance communication and improve collaboration.
The costs of not being bonded?
For many leaders, expressing their emotions is challenging for them. It requires them to be vulnerable which is not always a natural act. Our research and experience support that when leaders are authentic and transparent in their communications about how they feel, they create bonds of intimacy and trust and inspire their team members to do the same.
Leaders who struggle to develop and maintain authentic relationships can become isolated from the collaborative work within their teams and organizations as their direct reports, team members, peers, and co-workers lose the desire to work with them which leads to drops in engagement and productivity which have real costs associated with them.
Improve your team performance with Bridge 3 Team Dynamics Training
Leadership training and coaching is an effective way to develop leaders to be more comfortable with emotions. At Bridge 3 we offer workshops in team dynamics and are certified to train teams and organizations in the Emotional Connection Process (EmC). We also offer coaching packages to reinforce what is learned during the workshops.
Learn more by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org